Warner Music hires Christina Erskine, Cathy Oates & Rich Wiles in the wake of Billy MacLeod’s departure
Significant staff changes at Warner Music Australia have continued today, with the major label announcing a raft of new senior hires.
Christina Erskine joins as SVP of marketing & promotions Australasia, Cathy Oates as head of marketing for Australian artists, and Rich Wiles as head of audience.
The significant appointments form part of new president Dan Rosen’s efforts to shake up the company, which has already seen the departure of long-serving SVP of promotions & publicity, Billy MacLeod, the merging of the marketing and publicity departments, and the coming together of commercial with brand & sync.
The company’s new SVP pf marketing & promotions, Erskine, most recently acted as director of engagement at the Sydney Opera House, where she led the internal marketing, communications and strategic events teams. She also held roles at the venue including head of marketing, acting chief marketing officer and general manager of marketing.
She said she is excited to be joining the iconic Warner Music Group at a time of “exciting evolution”.
“Joining forces with a new team of marcomms professionals is a unique opportunity to champion Australian and global creativity with diverse audiences at a dynamic time for the music sector. I look forward to cultivating passion, innovation and expertise to grow opportunities for our immensely talented artists and creatives in new and compelling ways,” she said.
Oates, meanwhile, joins as head of marketing – Australian artists.
Oates spent time ion the 1990s as 2IC to the national PR director at Sony Music Entertainment and went onto become head of marketing at EMI Music Australia. In addition she’s managed artists including Angus & Julia Stone and Dean Lewis via her Original Matters company.
She said it’s always been her passion to develop and break Australian artists around the world.
“I now very much look forward to joining Warner Music and becoming part of the new team driving their inspiring roster of Australian artists. We are currently facing a challenging but exciting time within the Australian Music Industry, which is all the more reason to return to my record company roots, bringing my experience after a lengthy and eventful stint in management and marketing consultancy,” she said.
With Oates coming in to oversee WMA’s domestic artists, Dan Ellis has been appointed head of marketing for international artists. He will be responsible for Warner Music Group’s international roster here. And Anne Combe, with over 28 years’ experience at WMA, becomes head of marketing – strategic.
The third external appointment, Wiles, joins as head of audience.
Wiles has 10 years under his belt as The Walt Disney company, including as senior marketing manager for Disney Channels and digital director of content, product and marketing. His most recent full-time role was head of digital for marketing and content at BBC Studios, where he was responsible for the digital content and marketing strategy across multiple channels, developing engaged audiences through content, and driving digital transformation and innovation across the business.
He said it’s an honour to be joining the Warner Music family.
“I’m looking forward to working with the talented local team, alongside an incredible roster of local and global artists in driving the growth and future success of WMA’s activities in the digital space that resonates with and engages passionate fans,” he said.
President Rosen said today’s news is a key milestone in the evolution of the team at WM Australasia.
“Cathy, Chris and Rich bring a diversity of experience and thinking to the company and are all enormously respected figures throughout the music business and the wider entertainment sector. They recognise the important role that music plays in shaping culture and the responsibilities that come with that. Together, we are going to work with our artists to take their music to the world and connect with fans in ever more new and innovative ways,” he said.